From Pine View Farm

March, 2007 archive

More Food for Thought 1

Doug Thompson:

The answer to America’s problems does not lie in rigid belief or acceptance of any singular political point of view. That answer can only come through careful consideration of all points of view and then using the best of those diverse perspectives to build a real coalition that deals directly with the issues without the taint of partisanship or political extremes.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of contributing to the anger that makes rational debate impossible. I was wrong and I’m sorry I did so. I can’t change the past, although I intend to go back and edit what I have written before, but I can use the future and this web site to try and promote civility and coalition building for a better America.

Because when all is said and done we’re not really conservatives or liberals or moderates. We’re not really Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians or any other stereotyped political label.

I must add one qualifier–my qualifier, not Mr. Thompson’s: This applies only insofar as one accepts underlying American values. To the extent one does not, one places him- or herself outside of this playing field.


Jon Swift on Sanjaya 0

With a little editing, he could be referring to someone else we know:

George W. Bush(Whoops!–ed.) Sanjaya seems like a nice kid and his singing is really no worse than many pop stars, including American Idol judge Paula Abdul herself. But this is not a small-town talent show we are talking about, it is American Idol, the number one show in the country, and increasingly people around the world are asking themselves, What is wrong with American voters? Have they gone completely insane to vote for someone who is clearly so incompetent and dim-witted and has gotten as far as he has on little more than charm and luck?


News Junkies 0



The Party of Privilege 1

The Republican Platform revealed.

No, not the one they voted on at the convention.

The real one:

While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.

The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.

The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.

Via John Cole.


More Food for Thought 0

Balloon Juice.


Kyle Sampson, Brave Bozo 0

Brave because he willingly testified before Congress.

Bozo, because well, Dick Polman sums it up:

The former number-two man at Justice started the day by insisting that the unprecedented midterm firings of eight federal prosecutors was no big deal, just a “badly mishandled” snafu; but after many hours of being sliced and diced by his questioners, he wound up looking like a witness for the administration’s accusers.

I heard a good part of Sampson’s testimony, since I was working at home that day. I couldn’t figure out what he thought he was accomplishing.

But, never fear. Rush thunders to the rescue (you can see it in the link above):

By the way, Bush needn’t worry, because Rush Limbaugh has his back. Which brings us to the quote of the day. After citing a new USA Today-Gallup poll which shows that 72 percent of the American people support a congressional probe of the firings, Rush had this to say: “72 percent of the American people, a bunch of blithering idiots who have no idea what they’re talking about….that is just an indication of so much ignorance out there, lack of civics education and what have you.”

Sooooo, 72 percent of the American people are a bunch of blithering idiots.

Because, I guess, they expect their elected representatives to Adhere to the Rule of Law and to Tell the Truth.

Well, I guess, more fool they. Those clearly are not the values of the Current Federal Administrator.


Food for Thought 1

Here and here.

It’s not enough to mouth the words.

You have to live it.


Cooling Towers 6

I have mentioned that my current project involves Industrial Strength Cooling Towers.

Here’s one:

cooling tower

(Aside) Ain’t that the forklift from hell?


Transport 2


C5A banking over Milford, Delaware, in its approach to Dover Air Force Base.


Is There Such a Thing as Voter Fraud? (Updated) 0

Ummmmm, not really. Not by voters, at least. By politicians, sure (emphasis added):

As Congress probes the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, attention is centering on who knew what, and when. It’s just as important to focus on “why,” such as the reason given for the firing of at least one of the U.S. attorneys, John McKay of Washington state: failure to prosecute the phantom of individual voter fraud.

Allegations of voter fraud — someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote — have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom.

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch. Where fraud exists, of course, it should be prosecuted and punished. (And politicians have been stuffing ballot boxes and buying votes since senators wore togas; Lyndon Johnson won a 1948 Senate race after his partisans famously “found” a box of votes well after the election.) Yet evidence of actual fraud by individual voters is painfully skimpy.

Addendum–er, Where’s my Playboy Calendar? Oh, it was moved for the painter–3/29/2007:


Testimony from someone who was there. With a tip to Andrew Sullivan.


“Commanders on the Ground” 0

The Current Federal Administrator said it again today:

Commanders on the ground.”

And with every utterance of that phrase, he sinks deeper into sophistry and deception.

(As if that could be possible.)

The Current Federal Administrator claims that his hands are tied by what the “Commanders on the Ground” say or do not say.

No move can be made without permission of the “Commanders on the Ground.”

The Commander-in-Chief is hostage to a flock of generals and colonels, simple because they are “on the Ground.”

What he fails to mention, of course, is that he put them on the blinking ground to begin with.

What a marvelous technique for avoiding responsibility for one’s actions.

Jeez, next time (I hope there’s not a next time) I get pulled for speeding, maybe I can say that the “Commanders on the Ground” failed to inform me that what I was doing was wrong.


Down the Hatch 1

Dick Polman reports on Bushie Team-Building:

The federal Hatch Act, enacted in 1939, prohibits federal employes (who work for all taxpayers) from engaging in partisan political activities in the workplace. But two months ago, on Jan. 26, GSA hosted a brown-bag employe lunch, starring Karl Rove’s deputy political director, J. Scott Jennings. Doan attended. Also participating, via teleconference, were 40 Republican appointees who work elsewhere in America. The Rove deputy, also via teleconference, gave a PowerPoint presentation. His topic: the 2008 House and Senate elections, with rundowns on which Democrats would be targeted and which Republicans should be defended.

Was this a Hatch Act violation? I report, you decide.

Worth a read.


2008 0

Attytood predicts the nominees.

Make a note. Let’s check back with him next September.


Defensive Driving 9

Denmark cracks down on speeding.


What Gives in the Big White House Down the Street from the Capital? 0

Harold Myerson wonders why, in the face of overwhelming defeat in the 2006 Congressional elections, the Current Federal Administration and Congressional Minority Party continue to act as if nothing has changed. He points out that the really big time Congresssional investigation going on right now–into the firing of reputable and competent U. S. Attorneys–took place after the elections.

He offers four theories. I’m betting on number four, with a liberal dollop of number three mixed in:

What gives with the Republicans? How have they — not just in the White House but in Congress, too — become so detached from reality?

There are, I think, four possible, partial explanations. The first is Rudy-ex-machina– the hope that the party will nominate somebody who is not perceived to be part of their current mess and who will sweep them back into power no matter how big a hole they may now be digging for him. The second is a strategy to make it impossible for the Democrats to pass any legislation, and then run against the do-nothing Democrats.

The third is that the alternative reality conveyed by the Republican media — Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk — has created a Republican activist base that is genuinely not reality-based, and from which the current generation of Republican pols is disproportionately drawn. And the fourth, pertaining specifically to the inability of the administration to stop politicizing government, is that good government is just not in their DNA. Bush and Rove are no more inclined to create a government based on such impartial values as law and science than they are to set up collective farms.


Whatsoever Ye Sow, That Shall Ye Reap 0



All That Was Old Is New Again 0

Warning: Language


Arnold Layne on the West Coast 0

Pullman Police have 93 pounds of panties on their hands.

Officers arrested 24-year-old Garth M. Flaherty on Sunday for allegedly stealing 500 to 1,500 pairs of women’s underwear from area laundry rooms since last summer.

(More about Arnold Layne here.)

With a tip to Linda.


Creationism 0


A Headline Too Good to Pass Up 2

Bush’s Monica Problem

. . . referring, of course, to Monica Goodling, who seems to think she has something to fear from truthful testimony in the clear light of day.

Aside: Follow the link to see how the Fifth Amendment soooooo doesn’t apply in this situation.